MLB’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy Couples A Squirrel With Written In The Stars

With postseason ratings again in the crapper, it’s good to see MLB’s marketing group reinventing the wheel with this doozie of a commercial…



The already insanely overplayed “Written In The Stars” campaign has been largely panned by fans as both Fox and TBS seem to cue it up on almost every commercial break during games as well as breaks throughout the day (not that I watch Friends reruns or anything like that). If you thought you could escape the abrasive tune by actually attending a playoff game, our own Brady Green chimed in with his game experience tonight:

“For the 7 hours+ I was at the stadium they played “WRITTEN IN THE STARS” at least 10x (no exaggeration) so it’s not just a TBS thing. I’m going to go find some kittens to punch before I go to sleep.”

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Regardless if you like the song and theme of the campaign, the bottom line is that it’s overkill at this point. We’re only midway through the league championships and the shtick has worn thin. 

Have no fear though, a squirrel running across home plate a week ago is now the featured commercial in hopes of getting fans excited? Eesh, fresh out of ideas apparently.

This got me thinking of past playoff campaigns that stood out both good and bad. Although people weren’t so bullish on last year’s NBA talking ball campaign, a lot of that was due to the success of the “There Can Only Be One” split screen commercials as well as the very well received and subsequently copycatted, “Where Amazing Happens” campaign.

I think the gold standard though of recent memory is the NHL’s unbelievable campaign heading into the Stanley Cup. Don Draper would be very proud…



Whether the blame lies with MLB or their ad agency, the reality is baseball is continuing to lose mind share with other major sports as ratings continue to decline. The playoffs should be a great way to go out on a high note and build up momentum for the following year. The NBA and NHL have had success in this regard getting fans emotionally charged for postseason action. 

MLB’s effort, although good in principle, just doesn’t take into consideration people’s natural instinct to turn on an overplayed song or fad. Adding the squirrel to the mix was just a desperate attempt to pump new life into a tired campaign. Not every postseason can produce success both on and off the field, but if a sport ever needed a good product on the field with good marketing air cover off the field, it would be MLB.

With Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, there was already ample reasons to avoid or mute the MLB playoffs. MLB’s marketing seems to hurt more than it helps and obviously that is not a good thing. Historically though, MLB has struggled with their postseason marketing, so you would think change could be on the horizon in terms of the creative direction of the league’s marketing efforts.

 

Ben Koo

About Ben Koo

Copying and pasting my Twitter bio. I'm also refusing (for now) to write this in the third person. This is me - CEO of @Bloguin, GM at @AwfulAnnouncing, world's greatest chinese jew, proud Buckeye, funny dude, and sports and digital media zealot.

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